Full Service Backyard Tree Planting

COVID-19 Update: We are currently accepting applications. In-person consultations will resume in early spring, weather depending, with modified procedures to comply with physical distancing. 

We encourage you to submit your application now so that you are in the queue.  But please be aware that it may take us longer than normal to respond, as demand is high at this time.

Is Full Service Right for You?

©2015 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

What's Included

  • 30 minute consultation in your yard with a LEAF arborist
  • 5 to 8 foot tall native deciduous tree OR 2 to 4 foot tall native evergreen tree 
  • delivery and full planting service
  • mulch and planting/care guide
  • native shrubs also available for $30 each and eastern white cedars are available for $50 each. If you wish to have a shrub or cedar planted, there is a $25 planting fee per item. If a tree is not purchased, a minimum of four shrubs/cedars must be ordered for free delivery, otherwise, a $25 delivery fee applies. 

Note: all prices are per item and do not include applicable taxes.

You pay the subsidized price of only $150 - $220 per tree

©2015 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Five Easy Steps

  1. Review our policies and program details to determine if the Full Service program is right for you.
  2. Complete our online application to let us know what you’re looking for. Once we receive your application, our staff will give you a call to book your consultation!
  3. Enjoy your 30 minute consultation with one of our arborists.  During your consultation, we will assess your yard, ask you about your preferences and help you select appropriate species for your yard. At the end of the consultation you will purchase your trees and shrubs!
  4. LEAF will plant your trees and shrubs! We will contact you at least two days in advance to let you know when we will be coming by, but you do not need to be home for planting, as long as we can access your backyard all day.
  5. Care for your tree and enjoy the benefits of a greener backyard!
©2016 Kevin Halverson / LEAF

Our Policies

Our program is subsidized by our partners and we are dedicated to growing our urban forest by getting the right trees in optimum planting locations.  That means that we have some unique policies you should know about:

  • LEAF only plants species native to Ontario - species that evolved here as opposed to those brought by humans from other areas.
  • The number of trees and shrubs we can plant in your yard may be limited, based on your municipality, the age of your home and the space you have available for planting. 
  • We only plant in backyards or fenced-in side yards. If you wish to plant in your front or side yard, please use our Do-It-Yourself program option
  • In order to maintain the most efficient (and eco-friendly!) planting routes, we must schedule planting dates based on location. We regret that we are unable to accommodate specific scheduling requests. We provide two business days' notice before coming.
  • We will provide only trees and shrubs that suit your yard conditions. Species choice may be limited based on your soil type, available sunlight and geographic region. 
  • We do not plant in yards where major landscaping or construction is underway or will be underway in the near future, as this may damage new trees and shrubs.
  • If you need to remove existing stumps, paving or other objects in or near the planting location, all work must be completed by March 31st for spring plantings, or by August 31st for fall plantings.
  • LEAF does not plant in ravines, and may have limitations to plant on steep to moderate slopes.
  • Please be sure to read through the Ordering & Cancellation and Our Guarantee, Your Committment sections below for more detailed policies that apply.
©2017 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Space Requirements

Trees and shrubs require space below ground for root development and above ground for crown development. Buildings, decks and paving can interfere with a tree or shrub's ability to absorb nutrients and water. Cramped space, compacted soil, overhead wires and competition with other plants can stress them further and leave them susceptible to pests and disease. We will help you select appropriate species for your property based on the available space, rather than trying to fit in species that do not suit your property conditions.  

The planting site you have in mind must meet the following minimum space requirements:

Site Conditions Shrubs SMALL Trees Med-Large Trees
Area of soft surface required 5' x 5' 10' x 10'  15' x 15'
Distance from fence/property line 3' 5' 5'
Distance from hard surfaces (deck/paving) 3' 5' 7'
Distance from buildings with foundations 3' 10' 10'
Distance from existing trees 8' 15' 20'
Distance from stumps or existing ash trees 8' 8' 8'
Distance from swales 5' 5' 5'
Overhead wires not an issue avoid avoid
Raised beds or container planting not recommended never never

For more information on why these space requirements exist, please click here.

Please note

The distances listed above are minimum requirements - more space may be required for larger species.


©2015 Kevin Halverson / LEAF

Planting to Fulfill a Tree Removal Permit

LEAF frequently works with clients who are required to plant a tree as a condition of a tree removal permit. Bylaws vary by municipality, so be sure to check the requirements in your area before removing any tree, and check with your permit officer to make sure that a tree planted/delivered by LEAF will fulfill the terms of your permit. Be sure to ask about:

Tree Size 

Most municipalities require a certain size of young tree (measured by caliper, or diameter of the trunk in millimeters). LEAF’s trees are usually smaller than this requirement. We recommend getting verbal approval from your permit officer for this to ensure a tree planted through LEAF will fulfill your permit requirements.


LEAF plants/delivers during spring from April through June and in fall from September through November.  We are unable to provide you with a specific planting/delivery date and depending on the timing of your consultation, we may be sold out of some species for the current planting/delivery season. We recommend contacting us well before your permit deadline.  If you are contacting us close to your deadline, you will need to ask your permit officer for an extension to the end of the planting/delivery season following your consultation (for example, if you book a consultation for May, you should request that your deadline be extended to November 30th; if you book a consultation for October, you should request that your deadline be extended to June 30th of the following year).

Species Requirement

LEAF will recommend species based on the conditions in your property.  Therefore, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to plant/deliver a specific species prior to your consultation. We suggest asking your permit officer to allow you to plant a large or medium native shade tree rather than require a specific species.

Most permit officers in our service regions are familiar with our program and may be willing to make these accommodations for trees planted/delivered by LEAF.

Please note: Confirmations from permit officers regarding size, deadlines and species requirements (as described above) must be confirmed and your old tree removed BEFORE we can conduct your consultation.

Your Site Consultation

Preparing for Your Consultation

If your yard meets our minimum space requirements, you can complete our online application found at the bottom of this page. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to book your site consultation with one of our arborists.

The sooner you book your site consultation, the wider the selection of trees and shrubs you will have to choose from (our program operates on a first come, first served basis so some species may be limited).  You will need to be available for a two-hour window during working hours on a weekday.  A limited number of evening and weekend appointments are also available.

During your site consultation, our arborist will talk with you about your yard conditions as well as your preferences to help you select the most appropriate species and planting locations.  In order to get the most out of your site consultation, here are some things to think beforehand:

  • What are your reasons for wanting a tree or shrub? Are there specific characteristics you’re looking for?
  • Are there specific characteristics that you do not want your tree or shrub to have?
  • How large do you want your tree or shrub to get?  How tall? How wide?
  • Is your yard sunny or shady?
  • Do you have other trees and shrubs on your property and neighbouring properties?  Are they full grown or will they get bigger?
  • Is your house in a new development?
  • Will you be doing any renovations or building a deck in the future?
  • Are you interested in ordering native garden kits, cedars or pawpaw trees? 

It is essential to ensure your yard meets our minimum space requirements for trees before booking a site consultation.

©2010 Matthew Higginson / LEAF

During Your Consultation

Site visits are generally carried out from March to November. You will be given a two-hour window for your appointment.  Your arborist will arrive sometime within that two-hour window. During your site consultation, your arborist will:

  • Check your soil, assess your sunlight conditions and assess available planting and growing space, taking into account all features of your yard and neighbouring yards that might affect your new trees and shrubs (e.g., other trees, overhead utility lines, paving and structures); 
  • Assist you in selecting appropriate species and planting locations in your yard;
  • Talk with you about proper care and maintenance for your new trees and shrubs;
  • If needed, help you identify any ash trees located on or near your property that may be susceptible to infestation by Emerald Ash Borer;
  • Request full payment for your order by cheque, VISA or Mastercard;
  • Complete a siting form that outlines the planting locations in detail, as well as the species selected for each location. The siting form will also act as your receipt.

If you do not own the property you should have the property owner present for the site consultation, or provide a letter of permission signed by the property owner.  It must be printed, signed and returned to LEAF by email or post prior to your site consultation.

©2016 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Tree Species

LEAF offers a variety of tree species native to southern Ontario. Availability may vary seasonally.  Please note that not all species will be suitable for the sun, soil and space conditions of your property.  We'll help you choose species that will do best in your conditions.

Evergreen Trees

Canadian hemlock

white pine

eastern white cedar

white spruce

Deciduous Trees

American Elm

pagoda dogwood


paper birch

black cherry

pin cherry

black maple

red maple

black walnut

red oak

blue beech


bur oak

silver maple

Freeman maple

sugar maple


swamp white oak

honey locust




Kentucky coffeetree

trembling aspen

Ohio buckeye

tulip tree


©2016 Brenna Anstett / LEAF


Your arborist will take payment in full for your order at the end of your consultation. LEAF accepts payment by cheque, VISA and Mastercard. 

If for any reason you decide not to purchase a tree at the time of the site consultation, there is a $75+HST charge for the site consultation. Your site consultation is valid for the current planting season, so if you make the decision to purchase a tree following your site consultation, the $84.75 you have paid will be deducted from the cost of your order, provided no species or location changes have been made.

If you decide to order only shrubs and/or cedars at the end of your site consultation, you must pay the $84.75 site consultation fee PLUS the cost of your shrubs and/or cedars. The cost of the site consultation is included only when you order a tree.

Cancellations and Order Changes

  • We require 2 business days' notice for site consultation appointment cancellations or a $40 fee will apply.
  • After species selections are confirmed and payment is made, any changes to your order must be approved by an arborist and a $15 administrative fee may apply.
  • If you wish to postpone your paid order to a later planting season, there is a deferral charge of 25% of the cost of the order.
  • If you wish to cancel a paid order, we keep $75 (+HST) for the cost of the consultation, as well as 25% of the cost of the remaining order. We will refund the rest using the original payment method.

Planting Your Tree

©2017 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Before We Plant

Underground Locates

Before we dig, LEAF is legally required to request locates from utility companies to ensure that we know the location of buried cables/wires/lines that may be present in your backyard. Examples of these include gas, hydro, street lighting, internet/phone cables, etc. On some occasions, the utility companies may send someone out to visit your property to mark underground utilities.  

It is the property owner's responsibility to disclose to LEAF any private buried lines or utilities that you or previous property owners may have installed.  Examples of these include backyard lighting, irrigation systems or pool lines. If you have private buried lines or utilities present in your yard near any planting locations, you may be required to sign LEAF's Irrigation and Lighting Disclosure form at your site consultation.


Other Preparations

We ask you to do the following in order to ensure your yard is ready for us:

  • If you need to remove existing stumps, paving or other objects in or near the planting location, all work must be completed by March 31st for spring plantings, or by August 31st for fall plantings;
  • Complete any landscaping or construction work by the same dates. We do not plant in yards where landscaping or construction is underway or will be underway in the near future, as this may damage a new tree or shrub;
  • On the day we come to plant, we will need access to an outdoor water supply so that we can water your trees and shrubs after planting. Please ensure that your outdoor tap is accessible and functioning before we arrive.  A hose is not necessary.


Once you have paid for your order in full, we will plant your trees and shrubs in either our spring or fall planting season.  Spring planting begins in April and continues through to the end of June. Fall planting begins in September and continues through to the end of November. Your planting could take place at any point during these three-month periods. 

We will notify you two business days prior to your planting date, but unfortunately cannot provide you with a specific time of day. In order to maintain the most efficient planting routes, we are unable to accommodate any scheduling requests. You do not need to be home on the day of planting, as long as we have access to your backyard. This means that any gates must be left unlocked all day.

We will plant, mulch and water your trees and shrubs, and you will receive our Planting and Care Guide via email. Please be sure to read through and carefully follow the Planting and Care Guide -  you will need to follow the instructions in order for our guarantee to apply.  If you do not receive the Planting and Care Guide, please contact us and we will ensure you receive one.

If we are delivering trees or shrubs that you are planting yourself, they will be left in your backyard, along with some extra mulch.  They should be planted as soon as possible; however, if you are unable to plant them right away, be sure to water them every day until they are planted as the pots can dry out quickly.

Our Guarantee, Your Commitment

© 2016 Laura Tipton / LEAF

    Our Guarantee

    LEAF is committed to growing our urban forest, and by planting with us you agree to join us in that goal – thank you! We guarantee that, as long as proper care instructions are followed, trees/shrubs will produce leaves by the first July 15th after planting. 

    Trees/shrubs planted or delivered in spring (between April 1-June 30): If your tree does not produce leaves by July 15th of that same year, you must contact us by that same date in order to be considered for a replacement. 

    Trees/shrubs planted or delivered in fall (between Sept 1- Nov 30): If your tree does not produce leaves by July 15th of the following year, you must contact us by that same date in order to be considered for a replacement. 

    Please note: LEAF will not consider replacing plants when concerns are received after this deadline, or when proper care, including twice-weekly watering, has not been provided. Animal damage, weather damage or other damage that occurs to your tree after planting is not covered.

    ©2014 Daniel Stummer / LEAF

    Your Commitment to Care

    Getting the right tree in the right place is the first important step to success.  However, with proper care, provided regularly by diligent property owners, we know that our trees will thrive. You play the most important role in growing our urban forest - ensuring the trees and shrubs you've planted are watered and protected!

    For the first two years after planting, you will need to:

    1. Water your trees and shrubs twice per week using approximately 6 gallons of water each time. That is the equivalent of using 3 full watering cans twice per week or using a hose with no nozzle on a very slow trickle for approximately 15 minutes twice per week.

    2. Replenish the wood chip mulch at the base of your trees and shrubs as it decomposes, being careful to ensure it's in a donut shape and not touching the trunk/stem.

    3. Protect your trees and shrubs from lawn mower and weed-whacker damage - this can be fatal.

    4. Avoid using chemical fertilizers or pesticides in your yard - these can damage young trees and shrubs.

    Refer to the Tree Care section of our site for more details.


    Your Tree's Growth

    The biggest factor in your tree or shrub's growth is the care it receives! Different tree and shrub species grow at different rates, but you can get the best out of any tree or shrub by watering regularly and replenishing mulch as it decomposes. For the first two years after planting, your tree or shrub will likely focus most of its energy below ground establishing a strong root system, so don’t be discouraged if it looks like not much is happening! If you continue to provide regular water and mulch, you’ll be rewarded in time!  We're always amazed at how quickly our trees or shrubs grow once they are established. 


    ©2015 LEAF

    Maintenance and Pruning

    The right start in life is crucial for your newly planted tree. Leave the hard work to us! Get your LEAF tree on the right track with our maintenance package.

    Maintenance and Pruning

    Book Your Site Consultation

    Neil Cochrane Kentucky CoffeetreeReady to get your tree?

    We encourage you to submit your application now so that you are in the queue.  But please be aware that it will take us longer than normal to respond, as demand is high at this time.

    Get started!


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